’Childish’ neighbours feud lands Gemfields man in court, again
A GEMFIELDS man, who was involved in a “childish” ongoing feud with his neighbour, has copped a hefty fine after vandalising a sign put up on the joining fence.
Christopher Hogan, 58, pleaded guilty at Emerald Magistrates Court on October 6 to wilful damage of property without consent.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Kevin Ongheen said Hogan and his 65-year-old neighbour have been involved in a childish ongoing feud for about 10 years.
The court heard the neighbour claimed Hogan messed with his property and bothered him with unwanted religious preaching.
Sgt Ongheen said Hogan was convicted of trespassing in 2017, and in 2019 was convicted of five counts of littering after dumping bottled urine in his neighbours yard.
In relation to the current offence, the neighbour recently hung up a sign on the fence connecting the properties, made using an old T-shirt, which read something like ‘do not damage property’ and ‘keep out’, Sgt Ongheen said.
On August 4 at the Rubyvale address, CCTV footage captured Hogan removing the sign and carrying it inside his home, before returning it to the fence.
Anakie Police were later called to the address in relation to a damaged sign.
On inspection, police saw a bible verse had been written on the sign with black marker.
Hogan admitted to writing on the sign and told police he didn't see why it was needed to begin with, since he had no intentions of damaging the fence, the court heard.
He didn’t realise such behaviour was an offence, Sgt Ongheen said.
The court heard police involved in the incident acknowledged the current offence was petty and could have been finalised without prosecution.
Hogan, who mines sapphires six days a week, told the court the T-shirt offended him.
Magistrate Robert Walker said it was disappointing a mature man could descend into such childish behaviour.
“You and your neighbour would be well advised to seek help,” he said.
Hogan was fined $500 and conviction was recorded.